Humorists have played a substantial part in any society for as long as everyone can remember. Whether it’s your common, light-hearted comic or the one who’s trying to rebel and prove a certain point with humor, there will always be someone idolizing them. For instance, in his book Status Anxiety, Alain De Botton declared that humorists play an absolute vital role in our society because they are able to avoid otherwise dour consequences. While I believe that Botton’s logic is correct in many examples such as television comics and editorial cartoonists, there are also just as many other examples to prove how humorists are not completely vital.
Television comedians do indeed avoid consequences by masking their underlying message with humor. A perfect example is the crew and hosts of Saturday Night Live. They are able to successfully take real life scenarios and manipulate them into their carefully planned skits, whether it’s about Barack Obama, other political figures, or any number of controversial current events; the cast and crew are able to dodge any repercussions because of their humorous effect. Not only do people use shows like Saturday Night Live as meaningless entertainment, but, if I have to guess, a lot of people also end up gaining valuable knowledge about what may be happening around the world. This assumption could be used to support Botton’s vitality point, considering many people don’t watch the news or make an effort to learn about current events, so one could conclude that these comical television shows are vital to society in order to act as a news casting show. While this might make sense initially, it also helps disprove Botton’s opinion. Because these shows use humor to get their point across, it is also skewing what actually may be happening for comical purposes, so while people may be gaining knowledge, they’re actually gaining a biased, misrepresented view to the situation.
Among the many types of humorists included with the...
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